Accountants' job prospects looking up

PAY rises are outstripping inflation and recruitment is rising as confidence returns to accountancy firms, according to a survey by the recruitment consultants Accountancy Personnel, writes Gail Counsell.

But, while job prospects are improving in general, redundancies are appearing in some insolvency departments - 'perhaps the surest sign of an end to everybody's recession', the report says.

The survey shows that graduate entrants are being paid 4.5 per cent more than last year by the biggest firms, but in some areas typical salaries are still up to 20 per cent lower than in central London.

Because recruitment was cut during the recession newly qualified accountants are becoming sought- after as the market improves.

'A shortage of young blood is one outcome of the sector's severe cutback of recruitment during the recession,' the report says.

But it warns that the recession continues to have an effect, with young accountants nervously demanding job security as well as attractive salaries.

In industry the market for accountants is also stronger, with average salaries rising by up to 6.5 per cent since mid-1992.